Field of Work: Prevention of patient falls in hospitals.
Patient falls have long been a common and serious problem in hospitals across the nation, causing substantial injury, even death. Researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis analyzed 183 patient falls at a local hospital over a three-month period and found that 42 percent resulted in some type of injury and 8 percent involved moderate or severe injuries, including lacerations, fractures, head traumas and one "cardiac arrest with death." The risk of serious injury from a fall increases with age, making older patients especially vulnerable.
Synopsis of the Work
In 2006–2007, eight hospital organizations collaborated with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) in Cambridge, Mass., to test a preliminary package of interventions aimed at preventing harmful patient falls. Informed by feedback from the hospital sites, an IHI team developed and disseminated a final package of strategies to prevent injuries from patient falls in acute care hospital units.